Willie Mays - Custom Throwback Jerseys Honors the "Say Hey Kid!"
One of the best baseball players in history is acknowledged to be Willie Mays, popularly known as "The Say Hey Kid." Born in Westfield, Alabama, on May 6, 1931, Mays played 22 seasons of Major League Baseball. The majority were for the New York and San Francisco Giants—a more than two-decade, truly iconic run.
At just 20 years old, Mays joined the New York Giants and made his Major League Baseball debut. He won Rookie of the Year recognition after immediately establishing himself as one of the greatest players in the league during his rookie campaign. With a series average of .345 and a record-tying eight RBI, Mays was instrumental in helping the Giants win the 1954 World Series by sweeping the Cleveland Indians 4-0 .
Over his playing career, Mays was selected to start 18 All-Star games, earned two National League MVP awards, and was awarded 12 Gold Gloves for his outstanding defensive performance. Mays retired with 338 stolen bases. Six hundred sixty home runs, a batting average of .302, and 1,903 runs batted in during his storied career. He was probably the first 5-tool player in MLB history.
When Mays faced the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series while playing for the New York Giants, he completed one of the most iconic catches in baseball history, which later became his most well-known performance. In Game 1 of the series, Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians hit a deep fly ball, which Mays tracked down and caught with his back to the plate.
The “Catch” is a nickname for the amazing defensive play, one of the best in baseball history.
Before starting his career in the major leagues, Mays played for the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro League in 1948. He quickly made a name for himself as a talented outfielder with a great arm and outstanding range. In 1950 the New York Giants came calling and ultimately signed Mays, and he made his Major League debut in 1951.
Mays would develop into a fantastic player in his rookie season, leading the National League in stolen bases and earning a reputation as a superb defensive outfielder. Despite numerous setbacks, Mays persisted in his career and became one of the league's most explosive players.
In 1972 Mays was traded to the New York Mets and played his final 2 seasons in New York. In 1973 he led the Mets to the World Series where they ultimately lost to the Oakland Athletics in 7 games. Mays retired from baseball after the 1973 season, and in 1979 was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Even though he played for the Mets briefly, it was fitting that he began and ended his MLB career in New York.
After retiring, Mays returned to San Francisco, where he had spent most of his playing career with the Giants. Mays served as a mentor and coach, and he is still adored in the community today.
The Giants retired Mays's iconic number 24 and constructed a statue of him at AT&T Park as a tribute to his illustrious career.
Willie Mays' career was one of brilliance, a never quit attitude and a dedication to his craft. While encountering countless hurdles throughout his career, Mays dominated baseball for over two decades and earned a spot among the all-time greats. His influence on the game will last for many years, and his memory continues to motivate new generations of athletes.
At Custom Throwback Jerseys we offer an amazing collection of Willie Mays throwback jerseys in all the team and jersey styles he played in during his illustrious career.